Walcott returns but Saints trio still sidelined

By SFC Media time Fri 30 Oct Aston Villa v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Theo Walcott

Southampton trio Moussa Djenepo, Will Smallbone and Mohammed Salisu will miss Sunday’s Premier League trip to Aston Villa, manager Ralph Hasenhüttl has confirmed.

The players were also sidelined for last weekend’s 2-0 victory over Premier League leaders Everton.

Hasenhüttl revealed they are each making progress in their return to fitness and are all now back in training.

“They are all back in team sessions so far but not back fit to play,” he said. “For this game it is a little bit early, I think, but they are on a good way.

“It's not so easy to come into the team at the moment, but that raises the quality of the sessions and this is what we want to see.”

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 28: Moussa Djenepo during a Southampton FC training session at the Staplewood Campus on October 28, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Moussa Djenepo is back in training but still recovering from a hamstring problem

Otherwise it’s a clean bill of health for Hasenhüttl, who can also welcome back Theo Walcott after the on-loan winger was ineligible to face his parent club last time out.

Walcott has been speaking about how much he is enjoying his Saints homecoming, having returned to the club where he famously exploded on to the scene as a teenager 15 years ago.

“I’m very happy to hear that he likes it here and enjoys what we are doing here,” Hasenhüttl continued.

“I think it is the same in what I have seen so far on the pitch – normally you get a feeling for how much a player enjoys his play here.

“I’m happy he is available again for the weekend. It’s important that he steps into the team, learns very quick and is open-minded for this new stuff we try to implement.

“Let’s have a look at how much he helps us. I’m very positive that he will.”

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